Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation

Up To Date

Up to date...


We have our IRB approval and are preparing to launch the study. We are working on arranging for a research assistant to assist with the recruitment and collection of samples.  So we hope to get started soon.


Masonic Cancer Center Partners with Minnesota Firefighters Foundation on Cancer Research Study

Led by renowned cancer researchers, Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD, and Stephen Hecht, PhD, a new study out of the University of Minnesota will be focused on cancer risk in firefighters, thanks to a new partnership between the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Firefighters Foundation.

The idea for this study came from current firefighter and MNFFF.org board member, Kelly Piller, who saw a similar research project in action with colleagues in Florida.

“I have so much passion for this and pride being a firefighter, I want to stop at nothing to make sure that we are able to gather as much information as possible regarding cancer in the fire service,” said Piller, a second-generation fire service veteran. “By partnering with Drs. Hecht and Hatsukami, we know we have the best minds in the business at work for our health and safety.”

The study will focus on several types of cancer such as skin, oral, non-hodgkin's lymphoma, testicular, bone, brain, prostate, stomach, and colon. Firefighters are not only more likely to be diagnosed with certain kinds of cancer, but also their chances of getting lung cancer and dying from leukemia directly increase as exposure to fire increases over time because most departments oftentimes don’t have the best safety equipment available. This can lead to increased rates of exposure, which has negative effects on the firefighters health.

We look forward to our collaborative efforts to reduce the risk of cancer in our Minnesota firefighters,” said Hatsukami. “They protect the citizens of Minnesota and we need to protect them.”

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota is a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years, researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related disease. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.

About the Minnesota Firefighters Foundation

MNFFF.org was founded by firefighters in a few communities outside the twin cities who were concerned about the staggering number of deaths being attributed to ongoing health risks on the job. These firefighters began to think of ways to give back and make it their mission to help firefighters and fire departments with getting the word out about not only the challenges of being a firefighter but also the increased number of cases where firefighters have been diagnosed with serious health issues. The “wear your mask” campaign is about providing a quicker solution to help purchase the necessary equipment through fundraisers and private donations.

Cancer Is the Biggest Killer of America’s Firefighters

BOSTON — For the nation’s oldest fire department, the alarm sounds 234 times a day. Car accidents, medical calls, rescues, and fires keep Boston firefighters busy round-the-clock.

But while they are equipped with state-of-the-art apparatus and protective clothing, what’s killing them is a danger they often can’t see: cancer.

Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn called it an “epidemic.”

“We're seeing a lot of younger members in their 40s, early 40s, who've got 20 years on the job, who are developing these cancers at a very young age,” Finn told NBC News.

(read more...)

Boston firefighters stand outside the Tai Ho Mandarin and Cantonese restaurant Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, where two firefighters died and at least a dozen were injured. Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP

Boston firefighters stand outside the Tai Ho Mandarin and Cantonese restaurant Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, where two firefighters died and at least a dozen were injured. Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP

PPE use and unsafe actions by firefighters

What causes firefighters to take unsafe actions related to personal protective equipment (PPE) use — even though they know they should be doing the opposite? A team of researchers led by Drexel University’s Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends recently set out to understand why this occurs and what the fire service can do to fix it.1 (read more)



Jeffrey D. Kranz,

of Big Lake, passed away at his home surrounded by family and friends on Monday, September 25, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 54 years old.
Jeff was born to Dave and Dorothy (Gruenhagen) Kranz on May 30, 1963, in Monticello, Minnesota. He attended and graduated in 1981 from Monticello High School. After high school he started working as a pressman in the family business, Monticello Printing, and has been there ever since. In 2003, when his parents semi-retired, he became a partner with his sister Brenda.
Jeff has been active in the Monticello Fire Department for the past 24 years. He’s also involved with the RiverFest Committee, along with the Monticello and Big Lake Chambers.
He enjoyed fishing on a fishing league, ice fishing on Mille Lacs, deer and duck hunting, camping, country fests, and spending time with his family (including his granddog Bailey), relatives and many friends.
He is survived by his parents; wife of 34 years, Vicky; daughter Sadie; twin sons Brandon (Emily), Nathan (Nicole); sister Brenda (John) Blake; twin brother Jerry (Patti); brother Neil; mother-in-law Carol Davis; brothers-in-law Steve (Casey) Davis, Tim (Julie) Davis; grandchildren Jayden, Nolan, Easton, Corbin and baby due in March; three nieces; five nephews, two great-nephews, and many more relatives and dear friends.
Jeff was preceded in death by his father-in-law Dale Davis.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 29, 2017 at Saron Lutheran Church, 311 Lake Street S, in Big Lake. Visitations on Thursday, September 28, 4-8 p.m. at Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel and one hour before service at church. Online condolences can be shared at www.peterson-grimsmochapel.com.



We are very proud to announce the partnership between FireWipes and Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation. Together we can help eliminate the risk of cancer in the fire service.

Study of Cancer among U.S. Fire Fighters

In 2010, NIOSH researchers, with funding assistance from the U.S. Fire Administration launched a multi-year study to examine whether fire fighters have a higher risk of cancer and other causes of death due to job exposures. Our study was designed to address limitations of previous fire fighter cancer research. (read more...)

Reality Training: The importance of proper training